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Read the first chapter of THE PUFFIN OF DEATH at


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Writing Author's Note for "Desert Cut"

Sometimes writing makes you cry.
When I wrote my mystery, "Desert Wives: Polygamy Can Be Murder," I was furious at the way women and children were being treated on Arizona's polygamy compounds. As difficult as the subject was to approach in an "entertaining" mystery-novel manner, my anger got me through the book. When I wrote the six-page Author's Note detailing my research, however, I cried all my way through it.
The same thing has just happened to me now with my new mystery, "Desert Cut" (due out by Poisoned Pen Press in February '08). Only this time, the exerience is even harder.
Energized all through this past year by my fury over a certain situation, I finished writing "Desert Cut" yesterday. Since four in the morning, this morning, I've been working on my Author's Note.
And crying.
I'll bet you didn't know reporters cried. Well, they do -- but they don't usually let people catch them at it.
Just when I thought I couldn't take the misery detailed in "Desert Cut"s Author's Note any more, Jimmy Webb, my police chief cousin in Michigan, sent me a wonderful email which coincidentally touched on the issue "Desert Cut" is about. After reading his email, I cried even harder -- although for a different reason. And then, surprisingly, I found the strength to go on.
There are no coincidences.
Jimmy's email reminded me that sometimes there is something you are called to do, no matter how bad doing it makes you feel. Because it's the right thing to do.
So that's what's going on right now-- I'm working hard and feeling bad, in hopes that someday "Desert Cut" will make a difference. Just like "Desert Wives" did.

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